Navy retiree's killer sentenced
A Maui man was sentenced yesterday by 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza to life in prison plus 30 years for strangling a retired Navy doctor during a burglary at the victim's Kihei condominium.
Michael A. Pavich, 35, was convicted in October of second-degree murder, robbery, burglary, kidnapping and a drug charge.
The body of Edward "Doc" Bird, 82, was found Dec. 3, 2000, on his bedroom floor at the Pacific Shores in Kihei. Bird had welcomed neighborhood children into his home and was a familiar sight cruising along South Kihei Road in his motorized three-wheeler.
Lisa Avilla, 35, whose children used to visit Bird, took Pavich to the victim's apartment to rob him. Avilla testified at Pavich's trial that he hit Bird on the head and choked him.
Avilla was allowed to plead no contest to a reduced charge of manslaughter in exchange for her testimony, and is serving a 50-year term.
FOUL ODOR SHUTS SERVICE CENTER
A mystery odor forced officials to close the county's Kahului Service Center at the Maui Mall yesterday.
A dead rat initially was suspected of being the source of the bad smell, but inspections by an exterminator, the Maui Fire Department hazardous materials team, the air-conditioning vendor and the mall property manger were unable to identify the cause of the odor.
The Service Center houses the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing and the Real Property Tax Division, and accepts payments for refuse collection and other county services. Officials said they planned to run the air-conditioner overnight and check this morning to see if the odor persists before deciding whether to reopen.
Customers can go to satellite offices in Kihei, Lahaina and Upcountry, where additional staffing is being provided.
FUGITIVES CAUGHT IN HARBOR SWEEP
Five fugitives were arrested, a small amount of crystal methamphetamine was seized and 20 warnings for natural resource violations were issued during a state law enforcement sweep Monday at Honolulu Harbor.
All those arrested were wanted on outstanding state warrants, said Gary Moniz, head of the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Conservation and Resources Enforcement Division.
Resources Enforcement officers, state harbor police and personnel from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Coast Guard conducted the sweep at piers 16, 17 and 38, which involved on-board inspections of commercial fishing boats. "It was just a routine sweep with multiple agencies to foster education and compliance," Moniz said.
CAUSE OF FEMALE'S DEATH UNKNOWN
Police are continuing to investigate the death of a woman found in a burning car Monday on Ko Road in Hanapepe Valley.
Firefighters found the dead woman when they responded to the burning car. Police said her body was in the left rear seat area of the vehicle.
An autopsy was performed yesterday, but did not reach a conclusion on the cause of death. Authorities said they hope to determine how she died from the results of laboratory tests.
Police said they have a tentative identity of the victim, but have not confirmed it.